Have you noticed how parents of twins never stop talking about how different their twins are?
Well, I'm no different. If you don't stop me, its going to be a case of yadda yadda yadda...
Naughty Read Aloud Dad.
But wait. There is something really important going on here that could interest you.
Yes, my twins are completely different characters. Like oil and water.
That means that I can't easily find one-size-fits-all solutions and activities for them.
In short, my lovely daughter loves the idea of doing all kinds of activities and spending time in an organized fashion, but my adorable son on the other hand... loves the idea of complete freedom.
Yes, he hates any attempts to introduce formal activities in the daily routine, although he accepts them after some coaxing and then enjoys them while we do them.
He has an inbuilt radar that immediately detects any attempts at formal instruction, prompting his immediate complaints.
So, we have to include lots of activities that are completely informal and game-like in their nature.
In fact, the best activities that one can do with children are those that are purely and simply - fun.
And I simply adore low-tech toys educational aids that promote literacy goals.
Yes, we are talking about covert literacy here. And every parent has to be a secret agent with a bag full of literacy weapons.
Today I want to share one such tool with you.
This Melissa and Doug wooden Hangman game board with an erasable whiteboard and self-storing marker with an eraser on top, has no pieces that can be lost. Why?
Because all the letters on the board and the little hangman image flaps are firmly connected to the board with strong, black elastic bands that are of the highest quality.
On the left are wooden tiles that are printed only on one side with one letter per tile.
On the right side of the board are the "hangman tiles" that are also printed only on one side of the tile.
The bottom section is a dry-erase surface that you use to write as many underscores as the word has letters.
Even if you never played hangman before, you will not feel stumped. Just turn the hangman board around and the instructions are printed out on the back with game tips.
Or just click on the image in this post to read the game instructions.
This is a perfect option for a road trip or for playing on winter/rainy days.
When you want to turn a letter over, you just flip over a tile and voilà - a snap is heard and the tile is in place.
This is such a tactile game, that is a pleasure for children's fingers, eyes and ears.
It is an app, without the electronics and the screen.
The perfect combination.
A good old 20th century toy that will have your kids begging you to play hangman and to spell out words.
My kids, of course, don't yet know how to spell properly - but they can guess the order of letters very well. So, what we do is I usually choose a very long word like "Kindergarten" and they are bound to guess some letters... and soon my twins are trying to spell the word!
If I asked them spell Kindergarten in real life, they would never really try.
But - with the Hangman wooden board - they love it.
Literacy comes in many shapes and forms.
We just have to embrace all of them
If like me, you also love non-electronic educational games, maybe you will also enjoy learning about the simple low-tech technique I mentioned last year that can miraculously turn you into a no. 1 storyteller?
PS: As with all the books that I review on this site, I personally bought this toy for our family.
The hangman game is available from bookstores in the US
and other countries: